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Sound Quality

Most issues of sounds were discussed above. As for expressiveness, I found this piano to be suprisingly playable when I actually plugged it in and started playing it in a gigging situation. At home, trying to play more typical piano passages, I found it a little lacking in dynamic expression (too little key resistance to play with quiet feeling), but in a funk/rock/rollickin' 'Nawlins piano environment I found it to be lots of fun to play. So I would recommend it for any type of club performance situation, and steer people away from it for classical or solo gig settings (except for you hard-gigging harpsichord players, as noted above...). The onboard reverb is good enough that I've saved myself the headache of patching through my outboard reverb, and I suppose the chorus, tremolo and flanger are fine but I don't really use them. Switching velocity curves doesn't seem to affect the internal sounds at all, so I'm guessing it just affects MIDI velocity data. I haven't used it to control anything with aftertouch, so I can't report on that, sorry. (However, I do recall hearing it had aftertouch ability).

Reliability/Durability

It seems pretty solid. Metal casing, built into a road case. Foam on the inside of the wood case. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't get it to stop working by dropping it a few times, but it is still much better protected from bumps and bruises than most keyboards. Still, I haven't had it long enough for anything to go wrong, so consider reliability of 10 a spot estimate.

General Comments

I bought this keyboard recently because I wanted to move to an 88 note keyboard, and this seemed like too good a deal to pass up. Playing multiple keyboards, bass and guitar and building a recording setup, I have a lot of spending priorities, which makes it difficult for me to allocate huge sums of cash to one keyboard. Of course, cheaper isn't necessarily better, so I was a little worried this would be crap when I bought it. In this regard I was pleasantly surprised. I know there are a lot of these being sold now at prices in the $550-$600 range (I think they were discontinued), but nobody seems to know about them. When I bought mine (over the internet) I had never actually played one, and the only person I knew that owned one was Merl Saunders. I asked him how he liked his, and he was very nice in telling me about its features and giving me his (positive) impression of it before I bought it. So I'm trying to pass on the favor with this review, to let people who also like the price/feature combination but don't know anything about the board. In absolute terms of how it ranks in the competition of 88 key digital pianos, I would place it near (but not at) the bottom. In relative terms, accounting for its price, I think its near the top (of course this depends on how much a dollar is worth to you. If it's the record label's nickel, then buy something nicer. If you are going to be paying for this and your rent with a series $100/night gigs, definitely consider this before you drop 2 grand on some board that will be worth about the same as this one in 3-4 years...!)




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